Ford Arts Beats & Eats celebrated its 21st year by bringing end of summer fun to the Detroit suburb of Royal Oak.
The bustling festival spanned four total days, extending through the holiday weekend and wrapping up on Labor Day Monday.
Several artists lined the streets with tent shops, showcasing everything from handcrafted treasures to lovely art prints. There was a little something for every art seeker such as jewelry, ceramic pottery, photographs, clothing, and anything in between.
The food was just as exciting with vendors serving up local cuisine, BBQ, as well as tastes from across the map.
Several stands served beverages as well, making a perfect addition to the hot days.
Music was a staple of the festival each day. A great deal of local talent was in the spotlight on many of the festival’s smaller stages, with artists from several genres spanning all the way from bluegrass to electronic.
At the Michigan Lottery National Stage, several superstars made a stop such as AWOLNATION, Eddie Money, Matt Nathanson, Rival Sons, Ben Folds, and Everclear (to name a few).
Carnival rides and fun games were at different ends of the festival, filled with smiling families and little kids who were so happy to have won a prize.
Overall, this edition of Arts Beats & Eats was a resounding success, and always is the perfect way to wrap up the summer before children are heading back to school. As expected, the festival provided great family fun for all ages, great music, and unique art for the interested eye.
Festival review and photos by: Tiffany Cuthrell
AWOLNATION made a great tour stop on Sunday September 2nd at Royal Oak Michigan’s Arts Beats & Eats festival.
A gentleman from Detroit’s radio station, Alt 106.7 introduced the band. He had even personally suggested AWOLNATION to play at the festival.
Louis Armstrong’s “What A Wonderful World” greeted the band to the stage. The roaring crowd was ready as lead vocalist Aaron Bruno paced up, scanning the audience. AWOL started off their night with the lead track from their latest album entitled “Here Come The Runts”. Before venturing into “Hollow Moon” Aaron stated, “I’m looking for the best dancer here tonight!” His quest continued throughout the evening.
“I’m still looking for the best dancer here tonight. You could be anywhere! Who are you? What’s your name? What’s your best move?”
Their track “Passion” included a seamless transition into short but epic track, “Sound Witness System”.
Before the wonderful “Kill Your Heroes”, Aaron told the crowd, “We met some of you back in 2011 on our first record, ‘Megalithic Symphony’. We’ve been gaining new family members all along the way… and what a twisted family we’ve become, wouldn’t you say?”
The band continued into a slowed down track of the hit.
“We love you more than you’ll ever know, ladies and gentleman… but I’m still looking for the best dancer here tonight! Where are you?” He encouraged the crowd to let loose and act a fool as they jammed into “Not Your Fault”.
Before beautiful song, “Table For One”, Aaron picked up some flowers and shared, “Love is in the air tonight, ladies and gentleman, boys and girls! People of all ages.” He tossed the flowers to excited fans, and talked about not having many opportunities to go to dances and slow dance growing up, so he wrote a song where “we could all slow dance together, you see. So everybody put your arm around the person next to you, and let’s try to unite and swing side to side”.
Before “Miracle Man” ended with one last breakdown, Aaron encouraged the crowd to jump! “We can all jump so high, we can touch the stars that you can’t even see yet. If you try your hardest. 1-2 1-2-3- GO!” The audience responded with jumps and arms a-waving.
The band’s passion was on full display, and their musical talents shined throughout the entire set. AWOLNATION included tracks from each of their three full length albums.
After 2015’s “Run”, AWOLNATION exited the festival stage.
The crowd started clapping, cheering and chanting. “EN-CORE, EN-CORE!” until their musical heroes reemerged for three more tracks.
To start off their encore, they ventured into “I’m On Fire”, their spectacular cover of Bruce Springsteen’s jam for the “Fifty Shades Of Grey” Soundtrack.
Next up, they got the crowd moving again with high tempto jam “Burn It Down”.
AWOL ended their set with mega hit, “Sail”. To close out the night, Aaron introduced each member of the band.
“It’s been absolute pleasure entertaining you tonight, and please understand you entertain us just as much with your sweat, your high energy, and your passion for music. I hope you made some new friends and new family memebrs tonight. I hope your ears ring ’cause we’ll be thinking about you for the next week. Would you like us to come back?”
The crowd collectively cheered.
Aaron asked, “Do you want to party with me one more time tonight? JUMP!” As “Sail”‘s last musical breakdown kicked in, everyone in the crowd danced, jumped and raged.
AWOLNATION left the stage one more time, leaving the crowd cheering and shouting in satisfaction.
They were most certainly a welcome addition to the Arts Beats & Eats festivities this year.
AWOL will be continuing their tour into California this month, and ending out at New Orleans’ Voodoo Fest this October.
1. Here Come the Runts
2. Hollow Moon (Bad Wolf)
3. Seven Sticks of Dynamite
4. Passion / Sound Witness System
5. Not Your Fault
6. Kill Your Heroes
7. Table for One
8. Miracle Man
9. The Buffoon
11. Run (with Thunderstruck intro)
12. I’m On Fire
13. Burn It Down
Photos and review by: Tiffany Cuthrell
Ford Arts Beats & Eats is celebrating its 21st year of talent and fun, lighting up the Detroit suburb of downtown Royal Oak, Michigan.
Arts Beats & Eats is perpetually filled with great music, delicious food, and art from all over the map, surely supplying a little something for everyone.
With nine total stages on the docket, big names will hit the musical scene with the likes of AWOLNATION, Matt Nathanson, Everclear, Eddie Money, Rival Sons, Ben Folds, classic sounds from The Spinners, and so much more. Local metro Detroit area musicians will be showcased as well, further making Arts Beats & Eats an event the area can feel represented by and truly proud of. There will even be a Detroit Institute of Arts kids’ stage, ensuring family fun for all ages.
Be sure to catch all of the action over Labor Day weekend, with Arts Beats & Eats spanning from Friday August 31st to Labor Day Monday September 3rd.
For full event details, visit the festival’s website at http://artsbeatseats.com
Preview and featured photo by: Tiffany Cuthrell